Tuesday, January 15, 2013

Let @MindMaple help you share information using beautiful, colorful, & organized diagrams

MindMaple: Organize Anything
...and a fun way to visually plan your lessons
- click here

This is the first year I'm able to teach the same grade level again.  I'm so excited by the ways I'm able to organize my room, materials, and lessons this year compared to last year.  I love knowing what to anticipate in lessons so that I can better prepare a more authentic and inquiry based activity for my students.  In effort to remember what I'm doing now and have the ability to better plan for next year, I've been experimenting with visual lesson planning.  I've tried a few options, and I've seen other people's plans on Pinterest that make me smile in amazement.  I'm just embarking on this journey.  

It is my goal to find something quick and easy.  The moment the tool becomes a challenge, the task becomes less of a focus.  This is not what I want to happen.  So, while there are more capable tools that may make my plans look a bit more flashy, I am trying to stick with quick and easy.  For now, I'm just concerned with building a quick reference for myself, not a comprehensive plan book to showcase to the district administrators.  I'm happy using MindMaple.  I find this tool very easy to use.  Even if I don't visually create every lesson plan, I have the flexibility to do it by the week or the month.  The canvas is blank, and I get to create the template.  I love that part.  I look forward to developing my substitute plans this way, too.  I think they're really be more beneficial than simply having the written version (though I would also include this for a substitute... I'd just add the visual plan as a sort of cover sheet/guide).  

I've used several MindMapping tools in the past.  I love to stay organized.  Before using the web to draft maps of my thinking and planning, you could always see my drawings sketched onto a variety of slips of paper and sticky notes.  

When I started teaching, I knew the value of helping my students to organize their time, materials, and thinking.  We practice these skills daily.  I'm always impressed when a second grader shows such confidence and independence.  I try to expose the kids to many different systems to stay organized.  After all, what works for some may not work as well for others.  

Ultimately, I try to scaffold the students to be independent of graphic organizers.  In the beginning, I use them a lot to model different ways to organize and track thoughts and information.  However, I work towards helping the students be able to create their own webs and organizers based on how they see fit.  I like to see their creative ideas from the organizing, processing, and publishing. 

Before MindMaple had an app, I used Popplet.  I still use this application on occasion.  The paid app is $4.99.  I only have the Lite version, which is limited.  However, the MindMaple app is available for iPad and is Free!  

While I find the app is easy to use, I do think the free web version is a bit easier to manipulate for younger students.  My daughter, as a second grader, created a cute MindMap showing story elements in Lily's Purple Plastic Purse.  You can click here to see that post.

{click here to get the Free MindMaple app for iPad}


{click here to download the Free Web version now}

Disclaimer: MindMaple is a sponsor of Kleinspiration


  1. I was wanting to find a mind mapping tool.
    ~April Walker
    The Idea Backpack

  2. Okay I really like the Popplet Lite app but now I'm soooo getting Mind Maple too! I'm all about anything free right now. Once I've exhausted all those possiblities, then I'll slowly venture into paid apps. Thanks for letting us know about this great product!
    Mrs. Landry’s Land of Learning

  3. Thanks April and Shibahn!

    Let me know what you think once you've played around with it!

    Have a great weekend,